Tuesday, August 15, 2006

What 34 Days In Lebanon Taught Israel

While many will say that the 34 days of fighting in Lebanon was a victory for Hezbollah, Israel has learned an important lesson that will ultimately help to increase her safety in the years to come.

As written previously, Israel had the right to resort to military action in southern Lebanon after two IDF soldiers were kidnapped. Unfortunately, those two soldiers, and the one kidnapped in Gaza, are still unaccounted for. Most likely, a prisoner exchange at a later date will turn up all three safely.

Israel realized that it could no longer afford to allow Hezbollah to function with impunity on it's northern border. Prime Minister Ehud Ohlmert also realized, and rightly so, that to unleash the full fury of the Israeli army on southern Lebanon would be totally counterproductive. Regardless of what the hawks in the Israeli parliament wanted, the Israeli army fought this war the only way they could...with restraint.

That restraint definitely put more of their soldiers at risk, evident by the number of military casualties suffered by Israel, but it also greatly reduced the number of civilian casualties in Lebanon, no matter what the international community might think.

The most important outcome for Israel will be the establishment of an international peacekeeping force on the Israel-Lebanon border. That buffer is important obviously militarily, but more importantly, the pressure that it now places on Lebanon and more directly Hezbollah to cease their terrorist actions has increased exponentially. Hezbollah would no longer just be attacking Israel but the international community at large.

Israel gets more skin in the game, more commitment from the international community to help protect their border. That, unfortunately, may be the only way to prevent another outburst of the same violence we saw for the last 34 days. Israel also realizes that they can no longer go it alone, or only with the assistance of the United States. With the United Nations playing a major role in the cease fire, it is now incumbent upon more moderate Muslim nations to work towards greater stability in the region.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

israel should have taken the fight to them much harder!

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When will someone just drop a nuke over there and show them we mean business

6:26 PM  

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